Chariho High School installs one hydration station, more on the way

Chariho High School installs one hydration station, more on the way

The Westerly Sun

WOOD RIVER JCT. — Students at Chariho High School and Middle School are forgoing plastic water bottles and filling up reusable bottles at hydration stations.

At the high school, student Molly Beaudreau, who graduated this year, raised the funds to purchase the school’s first station. Beaudreau, a member of the daily life committee of the Chariho Student Advisory Board, said her group had noticed that there were hydration stations at the middle school and thought it would be a good idea to install one at the high school, so they applied to the Community 2000 Education Foundation for the funds to purchase one.

“We noticed that at the middle school they already had the hydration stations,” she said. “We’ve had problems with the water in the past where we didn’t want to drink out of it and there was a big push to go green at our school and we were like ‘we should apply to get some money from Community 2000.’ ”

With help from Chariho Assistant Principal Andrea Spas, Beaudreau wrote the grant and was awarded the funding for a single station, which was installed in January. The group has also received funding for two additional stations which will be installed in the new school year.

Each station has a special filling mechanism for water bottles, and displays a running count of how many disposable plastic water bottles have been kept out of the landfill.

“Installation of hydration stations is closely aligned to activities promoted by our Health and Wellness Subcommittee,” Superintendent of Schools Barry Ricci said. “Students love these stations because they allow for easy filling of water bottles, which means that students have access to filtered water throughout the school day.”

At the middle school, there are six hydration stations throughout the building. Principal Gregory Zenion said students took to them immediately.

“They love them,” he said. “When we only had the one, kids would walk the entire length of the building to use it. Now we have one in each section of the building.”

Zenion said he first saw the stations when he accompanied his son to wrestling matches at other schools. He thought they were a great alternative to traditional water fountains and asked the PTO if it could fund the first stations.

“I approached the PTO, and they gave us the first two, and then we added the other four,” he said. “Your typical water fountain is $450 and these are $650, so when you have to replace the fountains, that’s the way to go.”

Beaudreau said she was proud that her group had made a difference in the daily life of her school.

“I was very excited. My group, we should be really proud of this and the water just tastes better, actually. It’s filtered,” she said.


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